Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend Cape Clear’s SOA Architects’ Forum in the Boston area. While it was my intent to write about the forum last week, a question posed by an attendee at the end of the day propelled me down a research rat hole from which I’ve yet to fully emerge. The question, innocent enough, was “Where do service definition activities fit into mainstream development methodologies, such as RUP?”
From my own experience, service definition activities span business modeling, analysis and design. You find a service (and the need for it) during business modeling. You define and refine the service during analysis. You further refine and provision the service during design.
I think there is general agreement on the above – perhaps not in “how”, but definitely in “what”. Cape Clear certainly made their perspective known early in the forum, with a slide that said “Model the business, not the technology”. (Yes!)
However, the larger question – the how – and the fit of service practices and related artifacts in industry accepted methodologies – is still open. Certainly, methodologists, consultants and vendors are all (independently) circling the question, with MDA, UML 2.0, SOAD, SOMA and SOBA.
But, I have yet to find (and welcome references to) a publicly available, cohesive, services-oriented modeling/analysis and design methodology. I should note, I am eagerly awaiting the release of Thomas Erl’s second SOA book, to dig into his chapters on service-oriented analysis and design.
I suppose it is too early for fully formed methodologies to appear. After all, the best methodologies — those that apply the right amount of methodology to accomplish a task, no more, no less — evolve over time, through real-world
But, it’s not too early to be thinking about unifying service-oriented architecture practices, and even, to start doing something about it. If you know of, or are interested in, such an effort let me know.
In the meantime, I’ll continue my research, and report back my findings.
Oh, I really will post about Cape Clear’s SOA Architect Forum; it was good, well worth the time.